Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Jaco Venter took the race by the horn and got in the mix on stage 8 of Tour de Suisse. Unfortunately, the breakaway with Venter got caught with just over 10 km left to go. Merhawi Kudus had no problems keeping his Top15 place in the general classification.
Right from the beginning of today’s stage, it was clear that Venter was eager to show off the team colors at the front of the race. The former South African champion was one of the first riders to attack. Venter had his father and wife visiting to support him and that may have given him the needed energy to make it into the early breakaway. Together with three other riders, Venter managed to distance the peloton and take on the first of the eight laps of 12.5 km in Schafffhausen.
The quartet worked well together but the peloton never the break get a gap of more than two minutes. With this being the last chance for a bunch sprint, the teams of the sprinters made sure nobody got too far away and with 13 km to go, Venter and his breakaway companions were back in the pack. Several riders tried to take the sprinters by surprise with a late attack but none of the attacks proved successful. Instead, it all ended in the expected bunch sprint with Peter Sagan (BORA – hansgrohe) taking his second stage win in the race. Ben King finished as best Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider on the day in 17th place, while Kudus kept his Top15 position overall.
Tomorrow, Tour de Suisse concludes with a 28.6 km long individual time trial around Schaffhausen. A late climb of 5 % will give the climbers a small advantage but it still looks to be a day for the specialists against the clock.